Friday, December 27, 2013

Painting Matters

Painting Matters

Elika Gallery presents the group showPainting Matters. Seven contemporary Greek painters examine the significance of painting, addressing some of its key issues. The ambiguity of the shows’ title forms the starting point for its materialization: while it draws attention to a commonplace that painting still matters, it simultaneously raises questions that are particularly pertinent at the present time, such as why it still does, what are its particularities, and from where it draws its power of expression. The artists in the show aim to explore the possibilities of the act of painting, consciously oscillating between the gentle conviction and persistent questioning born out of the coexistence of the two words that make up the exhibition title.

Among the issues posed by painting today, many of which have been persistently arising as part of the discussion revolving around the medium in the last few decades, are the ones questioning its very limits, its relationship to the present, to memory and history, its interaction with other media such as photography, sculpture, literature and film, as well as the need to reinstate romantic irony as a critical stance towards the proliferation of images.

The artists participating in the exhibition find themselves in a constant search of defining their own relationship with the history of painting as well as pinning down the position their work holds in that history. What does it mean for someone to still paint nowadays, when «everything has already been said by the great masters»?. What is the driving force behind the choice to paint and how is this analyzed and assimilated by the artist? Through this process the blank canvas becomes a battlefield. While it is possible that this battle could ultimately lead to freedom of expression it may as well not. In any case, painting seems to be for these artists a one way street.

Moreover, the exhibition addresses the need to define contemporary painting, both on an international level, as well as in our country which, maintains a characteristic tradition in the teaching of painting as a starting point, as well as the basis of a visual arts language.

Participating artists: Eugenia Apostolou, Vasilis Vasilakakis, Vangelis Gokas, Vasilis Zografos, Yannis Malegiannakis, Ilias Papailiakis, Maria Polizoidou

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